July 11, 2022

“Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.”
Edward R. Murrow

The current environment of high inflation, low unemployment, and goods shortages offers a tremendous challenge for economic development. In many ways, the economy looks healthy–there is plenty of work, financial performance is generally good in most industries, and as said before, unemployment is historically low, inputs and supplies are hard to get and expensive when you do source them. It’s an odd problem that is confusing to economists and investors. Thankfully, economic developers aren’t paid to commentate or observe.

We have 173 days and 25 weeks left in 2022. We have a tremendous opportunity to adapt, make positive changes, and keep our communities moving forward. We have businesses to serve by helping them understand what resources are available to expand, accelerate their research and development activities, and adapt technology. We have talent pipelines to build through outreach to education and workforce development partners and companies and industries to align them with.

We have policies to adjust and improve our order to allow job creators and investors to move forward and ensure it is being done fairly and inclusively. We have small businesses to finance, main streets to bring alive, and entrepreneurs to connect with programs to help them achieve their dreams. Finally, we have business parks to prepare for the future, infrastructures to finance and build, and long-term planning that needs to be done for communities of all types.

I think the challenges that lie ahead of us are significant, and I do appreciate those that are working tirelessly to figure out how to set the right course. In the meantime, it is important that we keep our oars in the water and our eyes firmly focused on the rapids ahead of us. Please support your local economic development organization with your time, financial resources, and encouragement. They are likely doing all of the things above, as well as much more to make things better in your community.

Let’s have a great second half!

-Kenny McDonald